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The Backbone of the Sanctuary

An essential element to the existence of the Sanctuary is our group of volunteers who are passionate about conservation and provide much-needed resource to all aspects of the Sanctuary.

There are several volunteer teams, from visitor centre hosts to fence maintenance, bird counting to track cutting, pest monitoring to administration.  Our volunteers collectively putting in more than 20,000 hours a year.

We are always looking for more people: if you’re interested, have a look here.

The Trust employs a small, hard-working and skilled team.

Ru Collin

Ru Collin is our Chief Executive. Ru was a Trustee of the Sanctuary for two years before stepping down to take on the role mid-2019.

Nick Robson

Nick Robson is our Operations Manager, coordinating the volunteers’ and staffs’ efforts to maintain and develop the Sanctuary’s assets for everyone to enjoy.

Robert Schadewinkel

Robert Schadewinkel is our Ecologist and takes care of protecting the Sanctuary against pest and predator threats. Robert is the primary response person when we have fence breaches and pest incursions to deal with, and is also our technical resource with species introduction plans.

Deborah McConochie

Deborah McConochie is the Sanctuary’s business development associate and takes care of our valuable Brook Business Club members as well as identifying in-kind support, and all other fundraising activities. Deb also helps with business systems development. (Part time)

Murray Neill

Murray Neill is our Field Operations Coordinator, responsible for fence security, training and coordinating specific projects as they arise. Involved in all aspects of the sanctuary operation, Murray is experienced in most aspects of conservation field work.

Nick Tilly

Nick Tilly is our part time Office Manager: accounts, business systems, and anything that needs doing come under his rather large hat. (Part time)

Rick Field

Rick Field is our tours host, enhancing understanding of the Sanctuary’s aims and wider conservation issues via education talks with schools and other groups interested in improving our environment. (Part time)

The Sanctuary is administered by a charitable Trust with a board of eight volunteer Trustees.

Chris Hawkes

Chris Hawkes (Chair) has enjoyed a busy management career, mainly in the agriculture and fast-moving consumer goods markets. For the last five years, Chris has been on the Board, and is now current Chair, of Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve. He became a BWST trustee and chair 2019.

Maurice Woodhouse

Maurice Woodhouse (Treasurer) has had a long career in the accounting industry and was a founding partner of one of Nelson’s most respected accountancy firms, RWCA. Maurice became a BWST trustee in 2017.

Christine Hemi

Christine Hemi has served in leadership roles with Ngati Kuia, a recognised Nelson Region iwi, including as a current trustee. Chris represents Ngati Kuia on the BWST board and has been a Sanctuary Trustee since 2006.

Paul Russell

Paul Russell is a civil engineer experienced in managing and administering construction contracts. He spent several years training project managers and has managed a large consulting office and mentored staff for more than ten years. Paul joined the Trust in 2014.

Debbie Armatage

Debbie Armatage has a background that includes many years of marketing management as well as journalism and public relations management and is now a marketing consultant. A volunteer since 2017, Debbie became a Sanctuary Trustee in 2019.

Mike Elson Brown

Mike is a trust and estate practitioner, providing specialist advice in wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Mike joined the BWST as a Trustee in August 2016, stepped down in April 2019 and re-joined the Trust in September 2019.

Mike Glover

Mike Glover is a professional director with considerable experience in corporate governance. Mike has an honours degree in law and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and became a Sanctuary Trustee in 2019.

Deryk Mason

After 25 years in the management team of a global packaging manufacturer in Auckland, Deryk returned to Nelson. He started volunteering with the Sanctuary six years ago and was involved in the completion and now maintenance of the bio security fence. Deryk represents his iwi, Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu and Te Ātiawa o te Waka a Māui on the Trust.



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